City of Medicine Hat provides quality and reliable utility services to residents of Medicine Hat, and in some cases, residents of neighbouring municipalities. Utility services include:
- natural gas
- solid waste
|MONTHLY UTILITY RATE COMPARISONS *|
|Electricity (655 kWh)||50.80||48.69||64.94||49.74||41.55|
|Gas (11 GJs)||50.86||56.79||50.86||56.79||37.96|
|Water (15.3 m³)||42.33||37.90||28.93||38.54||42.05|
|Total Energy Charges||$201.13||$205.41||$188.73||$204.07||$182.58|
|* without commodity costs|
Additional benefits of Medicine Hat owning its own utilities include:
- reliability of electric service
- local accountability and customer service
- financial contribution to the municipal services budget through annual subsidies
As part of the Financially Fit for the Future initiative, City staff also evaluated utility fees and charges across the province, including capacity charges and municipal consent and access fees.
Across the province, a capacity charge is collected by electric utilities to cover the costs of the provincial-wide transmission network. Tariffs are set by a provincial regulator (AUC) for the demand transmission service.
Medicine Hat has only a minimal connection to the provincial grid and operates a “must run” facility in order to reliably supply electricity to customers in our service area. Equipment and operations at the City’s power plant must be maintained to meet peak demand, even if the generation capacity isn’t used.
Since 2009, the City has charged customers the equivalent of a 90MW peak load and consumption profile to help recover the investment in and costs of maintaining generation capacity at that level.
In August 2016, Council voted to update the Capacity Charge methodology with a phased implementation. Implementation will see the Capacity Charge increase to 105 MW in 2017, 120 MW in 2018, and previous winters peak in 2019, which is expected to be 135 MW.
|Projected Capacity Charge Revenue||$8,938,333
|Net Increase in Revenue Due to Methodology Change||$0||$0||$1,867,554
Municipal Consent and Access Fee
Municipal consent and access fees are allowed by Alberta legislation and are levied by other municipalities across the province. City of Medicine Hat began charging this fee in January, 2019.
Utility providers pay municipalities a municipal consent and access fee generally for two reasons:
- For the exclusive right to provide services to the community
- To compensate the municipality for direct costs related to the use of municipal land, restrictions on planning and development due to utility rights of way, as well as inherent risks to utility access
Municipal consent and access fees are outlined in franchise agreements between municipalities and utility providers. The agreements and related fees must be approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission.